Kinneddar was the residence (or Bishop's Palace) of the bishops of Moray from c.1187 and whose first documented incumbent was Bishop Richard (1187–1203). Very little of the structure now remains but the site is protected as a scheduled ancient monument.

Kinneddar was one of the major ecclesiastical centres of the Picts, with radiocarbon dating showing activity on the site from the 7th century through to its first appearance in documentary records in the 12th century, and possible activity as early as the late 6th century. Kinneddar was the source of an important collection of carved Pictish stones, the 32 fragments representing parts of ten cross-slabs, three free-standing crosses and at least eight panels from stone shrine-chests. The Pictish sculptures found in the vicinity of the castle and kirkyard point to the area being an important 8th century Christian centre and may have been a principal location for the conversion of the Picts.

Kinneddar was adopted as the cathedral of the Diocese of Moray by Richard de Lincoln while he was Bishop of Moray between 1187 and 1203. Bishop Archibald enlarged or rebuilt the castle in c. 1280 and it continued to be used by the bishops until the late 14th century. The palace was attacked and burned by Robert the Bruce and David de Moravia in 1308, but was repaired and recorded as the residence of Bishop Alexander Bur in 1383. The palace remained the head of the barony of Kinneddar until 1451, when all nine baronies held by the Bishops of Moray were combined into a single barony headed by Spynie, and from 1462 Bishop David Stewart may have used stone from the now-redundant palace at Kinneddar in his building of the David Tower at Spynie Palace.

Nothing now exists of the castle except one fragment of a rubble wall that is integrated into the Kinneddar kirkyard boundary wall.

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Founded: 7th century AD
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

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